Friday, September 28, 2018

Forgotten Fridays: Everybody Wants Some: A Loose Interpretation of the Musical Genius of Van Halen

Forgotten Fridays is an occasional feature here at If It’s Too Loud... where we go back and find the lost records of our glory days. We played these on our college radio shows, put them on countless mix tapes, and then forgot they existed. We go back and remind you of their existence, and help decide if they were any good.

I absolutely loved all the tribute albums back in the 90's. This might be one of my absolute favorites. In 1997, Boston label Cherrydisc put out an all Boston tribute to Van Halen. As the title states, some of the covers are much less faithful than others. In fact, legend has it that The Elevator Drops submitted a cover that turned out to not be a Van Halen song. No one realized it until the very last minute and it got pulled. That's how much the people behind this compilation knew about the Van Halen catalog.

We get not one but two versions of "Eruption." The first is The Reverend Ed Broms performing the guitar masturbation classic on a church organ. The second by Crick Diefendorf is played on a banjo (I believe?). Trona's version of "Could This Be Magic?" is much more faithful to the original than I remembered, as the original is basically a swing song. Talking to Animals turn "Everybody Wants Some" into a cocktail party jazz classic. Cherry 2000's "Atomic Punk" is a slinky indie rock song that may be like the original? Not sure, I can't place that song in my Van Halen knowledge. "Why Can't This Be Love?" by Gigolo Aunts takes the Van Hagar original and re-imagines it as the groovy 60's power pop it was truly meant to be. Honkeyball's take on "Take Your Whiskey Home" is exactly what you would expect from a Van Halen tribute album from 1997. Mary Lou Lord tackles the most well known of all Van Halen songs, "Jump," and makes it her own singer/songwriter track in the way only she can. "Feel Your Love" as done by Fuzzy is packed with so much joy you'd expect it to be a Christmas song if it was in the background. Sam Black Church cranks out a version of "Romeo Delight" that could be a SBC original if you didn't know any better.

There are more covers, but these are the highlights. This is a tough one to track down. It's not on Spotify, and only a few songs ended up on YouTube. Your best bet might be buying a physical copy on Amazon. But it's worth it.

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